Jan 9, 2020: Mitochondrial Control of Innate Immunity

Spring 2020 Seminar Series (Pharm 848-S/ENV 848-S)

Duke Integrated Toxicology & Environmental Health Program

Thursday, January 9, 2020, 11:45 am – 1:00 pm, Field Auditorium, Grainger Hall

A. PHILLIP WEST, PH.D.A. Phillip West, Ph.D.

Texas A&M University College of Medicine

BIOGRAPHY: Dr. West received dual B.S. degrees in Biology and Science Education in 2001 from North Carolina State University.  After a three-year stint as a laboratory technician in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, he moved north to pursue his doctorate degree at Yale School of Medicine.  Dr. West earned his Ph.D. in Immunobiology in 2011 and remained at Yale in the Department of Pathology for his postdoctoral fellowship.


Mitochondrial Control of Innate Immunity in Health and Disease

Mitochondria are multi-faceted organelles integral to many processes including energy generation, programmed cell death, signal transduction, and immunity.  Consequently, mitochondrial stress can drastically alter cell and tissue function and is increasingly implicated in aging, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration, cancer, and autoimmunity.  Research in the West lab centers on defining how mitochondria regulate immune and inflammatory processes to influence human health and disease.  The lab is particularly interested in characterizing how mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) stress and instability is sensed by the cGAS-STING DNA recognition machinery.  Moreover, we aim to understand how the chronic engagement of this pathway sustains damaging inflammatory responses in multiple disease states.

In my seminar, I will discuss new mechanistic insight into mtDNA sensing by the innate immune system, and I will highlight our ongoing work to elucidate how the mtDNA-cGAS-STING signaling axis contributes to off-target inflammation and cardiotoxicity following anthracycline chemotherapeutic exposure. 


Click here to go back to the full seminar schedule